Roving Comforter (RoCo) – A Personal Cooling Device

Featured in the Washington Post, Atlantic Media, Bloomberg News, and Direct Current

 

RoCo is a Roving Personal Comfort device, which provides ultimate personal thermal management for people in inadequately or un-conditioned environments. It provides 12% to 30% energy savings compared with typical conditioned buildings systems, and better thermal and mobile comfort to occupants.

The prototypes have been showcased at the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit at National Harbor, MD, Maryland Day at the University of Maryland, Maker Faire in San Francisco, and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
 
 

Made For Customers

Mobile Comfort was created to work with industry partners to design a commercial version of RoCo. They will test RoCo in 200 homes and offices starting in the summer of 2019.

Unmatched Comfort

RoCo is unlike any other cooling system.  Most air conditioning systems are designed to cool rooms or entire buildings.  RoCo is a personal cooling system designed to keep an individual user comfortable and in control. This is achieved with a “smart nozzle” that tracks the movement of the user and delivers a cool stream of air directly on the person in control.
 
RoCo's ability to provide human comfort has been fully validated in a laboratory setting using human subjects.
 

RoCo Learns Your Thermal Requirements

RoCo’s intelligent nozzle smartly delivers conditioned air to parts of the body needing it most. As various parts of the body have different sensitivity levels for thermal sensation, RoCo ensures you benefit from cooling through flexible smart nozzles that adjust air supply locations and conditions.
 

The Evolution of Comfort

 

Significantly More Efficient 

The heart of this personal cooling/heating device is the next generation miniature heat pump system with built-in PCM storage. Benefiting from a linear mini-compressor and next generation air-to-refrigerant heat exchangers, the system delivers cooling and heating at minimum power consumption without releasing waste heat.

It is up to 30 percent more efficient than conventional residential or commercial heat pump systems.  This significantly cuts utility bills.

RoCo research is sponsored by Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) through a three-year contract. University of Maryland investigates performance in terms of comfort, energy efficiency, operating characteristics, ease of use and customer acceptance taking advantage of an open innovation platform.

 

 
 
For information about the RoCo project, contact Dr. Reinhard Radermacher, 301-405-5286.
All photos and images © 2016 University of Maryland.